Wind farms have come a long way since the world’s first was built in 1980 in New Hampshire.
This farm at Crocheted Mountain had 20 turbines, but has since ceased operation and has been dismantled. In 1980 there were many obstacles and challenges to sustaining the wind farm’s operation.
Fast forward to 2016 and there have been many advances in best practices for wind farm operators. Wind farms are constantly being built to power both homes and companies. For example, Amazon Wind Farm US Central is being built in Paulding County, Ohio and is on track to produce electricity by May of 2017. Amazon also just announced they have plans to build a second wind farm called Amazon Wind Farm US Central 2 in Hardin County. Amazon plans to use the electricity to power their Amazon data centers in Ohio and Virginia.
Today there are many states mandating clean energy production and usage. As more and more states and regions require similar usage, the United States will continue to build wind farms and seek cost effective measures for existing wind farms.
Can the current conditions of wind farms keep up with the energy mandates? What obstacles are facing the cost effectiveness of today’s wind farms?
Today’s wind farms…
Lack routine inspections.
Small evidences of damage are hard to detect unless there is routine visual inspection. This can be done in person with specialized equipment. Drone technology may also be used in the future for visual inspections. Just like the vehicles we drive, routine inspection can prevent break downs.
Experience leading edge erosion.
Wind blades can travel up to 180 mph. Rain, wind, snow, sand, and dust can lead to edge erosion. Each one of these small particles slamming into the leading edge can cause small nicks and dents if the leading edge is not properly protected with an effective coating.
Are affected by lightning.
Lightning can reach 50,000 degrees. This high temperature causes burns from the bolt itself and from the steam it produces when it comes in contact with water.
Need a relationship with a reliable weather service.
Weather can affect scheduling of maintenance. It’s also helpful to know when the operators need to be on the alert for safety concerns during foul weather.
Just as wind farm technology has become so much more advanced since the first farm in 1980, wind farm operators and developers will continue to see technological advancements to overcome these obstacles for today’s wind farms.
EPOX-Z NRG coating is an exciting example of a fresh solution to the chronic problem of wind blade degradation. This high performance coating will revolutionize the effectiveness of wind blades by lowering the need for maintenance.
From production, when the EPOX-Z NRG coating is applied to the wind blade, the wind blade will be protected from both water damage and UV light.
If you are part of the future of wind farms, EPOX-Z would like to partner with you to make wind energy production the most cost effective it can be.